What is your one competitive advantage – smarter? faster? cheaper? – or the most service-driven player in the field? You need to find it and communicate it. Because being all things to all people went out with floppy disks and slide projectors.
This insight comes from Bill Faust, managing partner at Ologie. I’m sharing his original article combined with an updated version from the Ologie site: Think B2B doesn’t apply to you? Think again.
Use these 5 tips to power up your B2B marketing
Communicating with a business audience is very different from talking to consumers. And this is important because just about organization has to do both.
Here are five quick tips for making your communications more powerful, B2B or not.
1. Simplify the complex
Don’t hide behind your jargon. Every potential client or prospect wants the plain truth – straight talk, simple terms and no-nonsense explanations.
Regardless of how complex the product or service, avoid the temptation of using complicated explanations and overly technical copy to make your selling point. You understand it, your customers might not.
Break it down into simple chunks and focus on the benefits. Skip the laundry list and focus on the relevant results. Walk step by step through your business. It’s complex information. Show them that you’re smart enough to keep it simple.
2. Focus on the benefits
In any industry, it’s easy to get caught up in who you are and what you do: your products, your services, your offers, your approach, and your capabilities. But your clients would rather hear about what’s in it for them. As you communicate, stay focused on the benefits—what you will do for clients. You’re bound to make more connections that way.
3. Consistency, consistency, consistency
In real estate, it’s location, in B2B it’s consistency. Consistent execution. Consistent branding. Consistent focus.
This is especially true for communications. From your website to collateral to PowerPoint presentations, show a clear and consistent image with a single, powerful voice. One-eyed branding. There’s too much competition out there already – don’t add to that by looking like two companies instead of one.
4. Make the intangible tangible
No matter what you’re selling, from legal advice to IT consulting to business insurance, there are ways to make intangible products and services tangible.
Use narratives, metaphors, analogies, and case studies. Lean on video, photography, and infographics. Make what you do more tangible, and you’ll quickly transform your communications.
Remember; just because you get it doesn’t mean your customers do. You live it, every day. And, believe it or not, that can be a disadvantage.
So think like your prospect. Get in their head. Step back and ask the dumb questions. The same questions your customer is probably asking all the time. After all, a little naivete can go a long way.
5. Be bold and behold
B2B doesn’t mean your marketing has to be like watching paint dry. Differentiate your company and your offer by being bold and taking some chances. Stand out in the crowd. Use your communications to get noticed and get your message to cut through in a crowded marketplace.
Many marketers assume that they have to be emotionless, or they won’t be taken seriously. Nonsense. Most B2B marketing requires communicating with senior management. Don’t underestimate them. They’re educated, sophisticated and well-traveled. They get humor and subtle messaging. They appreciate the unexpected. They look for out-of-the-box thinking. Show all of that in your communications.
Use your communications to stand out in the crowd, and you’ll get your message across. The safe road isn’t always the one leading to prosperity.
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